F-35’s ALIS at Sea

The Autonomic Logistics Information System keeps the F-35B flying during the Marines’ operational test event aboard the USS Wasp

The march to F-35B initial operations took a major step forward last week as the U.S. Marine Corps wrapped up testing aboard the USS Wasp. Completing all test points two days early, maintainers kept the jets flying with the F-35’s fleet management backbone called the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS.

In addition to day and night flying missions, the test event provided a true-to-life deployment scenario to capture lessons learned about spares needed at sea, deployment planning and the overall logistics for ship-based F-35 operations.

“We focused this carrier period on logistic sustainability to include a lot of forced‑maintenance actions both above deck and below deck in a hangar out there,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps. “The onboard automated logistics system, ALIS, worked very well to achieve our turnaround times.”

The test event marks a number of ALIS firsts, says James Sprang, the system’s field and deployment lead for Lockheed Martin.

“Until this point, all ALIS infrastructure was land-based to support flight test, training and aircraft modifications,” said Sprang. “This event demonstrates the maturing ALIS capability by facilitating communication from ship to shore and connecting directly to ship networks to support F-35 operations.”

A Standard Operating Unit – the set of ALIS servers for squadron operations – was installed on the Wasp last year, and the kit simultaneously supported the operational test event at sea and all the training flights at MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina at the F-35B Pilot Training Center.

ALIS enables daily operations of the F-35 fleet, including mission planning, scheduling for flights, aircraft maintenance, and tracking and ordering of parts. The next generation of ALIS, ALIS 2.0.0, completed its roll out this past March and is currently supporting F-35 operations at 11 locations.

The next release, ALIS 2.0.1, is now installed at flight test locations for assessment. ALIS 2.0.1 includes a new hardware suite called the Standard Operating Unit version 2. This deployable kit will support the F-35 on carriers, amphibious craft and at forward operating locations.

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